Chief Executive Officer,
Chairman of the Board
Chief Tecnology Officer,
GARY R. LES
Mr. Paul J. Katsch serves as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Guest Innovations, Inc. Mr. Katsch's passion and vision for Guest Innovations is to build the restaurant industry’s leading technology solutions, which will maximize guest service and profitability.
Paul is a technology innovator who loves problem solving. Katsch's entrepreneurial career started at 16, when he sold Apple II computer peripherals to universities. At that time, he fell in love with building something from nothing and addressing customer demand.
Mr. Katsch has launched and managed dozens of businesses throughout his career. Notably, as CEO, Katsch built Maxcomm Technologies, Inc., a telecom software company, from startup to $18 million annual revenue in less than two years without any outside funding. Maxcomm Technologies’ software maximized switch capabilities by interfacing with Intel’s Dialogic Telephony boards and allowing telco DS3 trunks to be controlled by computer systems.
In 2010, when profitable land developments were rare, Mr. Katsch developed land in Davis, California and built the state’s most energy conscious subdivision. Katsch's profitable sustainable development community focused on building beautiful homes with minimum carbon footprint and maximum natural resource efficiency, without compromising livability.
That year, Katsch also opened his first restaurant in Virginia. The 275-seat restaurant focused on farm-to-fork cuisine and served locally sourced produce, grass-fed beef and hand crafted pastas. Paul found relationship building essential to his success, whether breaking bread at a fine dining establishment or a humble hot dog cart.
Mr. Katsch received his Bachelor of Science degree in Genetics from the University of California, Davis. Katsch is a lifelong student, currently learning Russian, a licensed VFR pilot and sports lover.
Theron Luhn co-founded Guest Innovations while pursuing a degree in computer science at University of Wisconsin-Madison, which he later left in order to participate full-time as Guest Innovation's CTO. A passionate programmer since a young age, he is an avid Python enthusiast, but has experience in a wide variety of languages and paradigms, as well as cloud computing and high-availability infrastructure.
He is responsible for architecting the Guest Innovations suite of software and its underlying infrastructure and executed a large portion of it himself. Outside of the offices, he is an amateur chef, plays board and card games, and aspires to be a movie snob and a beer aficionado.
Gary is a Global Senior Executive with over 25 years of experience in exceeding revenue, profit, and corporate growth objectives. He has an extensive background in international revenue development, P&L responsibility, strategic planning, manufacturing, worldwide supply chain management, technology solutions, licensing, acquisitions, and legal affairs.
Gary can add real value to a middle-market or large company that competes or would like to compete in the global marketplace. In his roles as President/CEO/COO he has managed international manufacturing and distribution projects that encompass all aspects of business growth, innovation, and value creation.
Gary has international strategic planning and sourcing expertise with over 15 years of experience developing business relationships in China, India, and other countries around the world. He has managed people and projects in over 35 countries. In his various executive roles at strategic suppliers, Gary has delivered value to some of the best companies in the world including, but not limited to, GE Healthcare, Medtronic, Rockwell Automation, Johnson Controls, Cummins, Illinois Tool Works, Bank of America, McDonald’s, PepsiCo, and Home Depot.
Gary serves on the Boards of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. He is a graduate of Northwestern University with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics where he was a NCAA scholarship athlete, captain of his team, and school record holder. He earned a MBA degree from Loyola University and a JD degree from DePaul University. Gary is a licensed attorney and a featured speaker on innovation, international business, China, and India.
An innovative brand specialist, and seasoned restaurant operator, Peter D’Amelio has a 30 year record of achievements as part of the executive management of several well respected restaurant groups. Appointed Chief Operating Officer of matchboxfoodgroup in 2014, he now influences the company’s presence in Washington, DC, where it was founded, as well as activities throughout the country.
In his role, D’Amelio oversees the creation of strategic systems that maximize efficiency and maintain brand consistency for each of the group's three concepts. D’Amelio spearheads marketing efforts, leading management teams and implementing routines as the restaurant group continues to expand into new markets and increase revenue.
In 1990, D’Amelio started as Assistant General Manager for The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated, and over the next 17 years would work his way up through the ranks of Area Director, Regional Vice President, VP of Operations, and Senior VP of Operations to become President and Chief Operating Officer of all The Cheesecake Factory Restaurants. As COO, D’Amelio increased sales revenues by 50% over a three year period and opened 60 new restaurants. During his tenure, The Cheesecake Factory rose to achieve the highest sales per restaurant and per square foot among chains in the American restaurant industry.
After his success with The Cheesecake Factory, D’Amelio moved on to become President and Chief Operating Officer of Great American Restaurants, the group responsible for popular DC area concepts like Sweetwater Tavern, Carlyle, and Coastal Flats. While there, D’Amelio increased sales by focusing on human resources and effectively developing management training programs and multi-unit training positions, while appointing a director of purchasing, a corporate executive chef, hourly and management staff. These combined efforts resulted in the highest Overall Satisfaction and Food Quality ratings, as reported by the Service Management Group.
D’Amelio attended Washington State University, where he studied Communications. From1996 to 2007 he has served as Chairman of the Board for KaBoom!, a not-for-profit organization that partners with communities and companies to build accessible neighborhood playgrounds and has won numerous awards and public recognition for doing so with over 1,000 built so far. Also a board member of the Oscar and Evelyn Overton Foundation, D’Amelio has made significant annual contributions to assist in efforts to unite caring and conscientious Cheesecake Factory staff members in charitable causes and disaster relief efforts.
An avid reader, D’Amelio enjoys spending time with his family, playing golf and other sports, traveling, and boating in his free time.
Mr. McKenna brings operational expertise ranging from grand Michelin-starred restaurants to an eight hundred square foot quick service sushi restaurant. Concepts ranged from seasonal American fine dining, to Japanese, Neapolitan pizza, seafood focused concepts and a private club serving Santa Monica’s “Silicon Beach” tech community. He has operated restaurants in a wide range of locations, including shopping malls, airports, a university, hotels, a state park and the ground floor of a municipal parking garage.
As Chief Operating Officer at Ozumo Concepts International, Mr. McKenna was responsible for day-to-day operations of the five-unit, multi-concept, $25M restaurant company. At the Lark Creek Restaurant Group, he helped grow the company from one restaurant to twenty, with peak revenues of over $40M. Mr. McKenna was instrumental in receiving two Michelin stars and three James Beard awards, among many others.
Mr. McKenna has helped pioneer today's restaurant technology. He served as an early advisor to OpenTable and to Proven, and made restaurants available to a start-up company creating iPad based menus and as a beta test site for a new Panasonic POS system. Mr. McKenna, founder of Queue Consulting, has a proven track record advising restaurants on concept, execution and profitability.